The ACWA Board of Directors, its officers and members would like to welcome you to the online home of the American Chuck Wagon Association.
The American Chuck Wagon Association started out as a small group of Old West enthusiasts and has expanded to world wide association preserving the American past through competitions, demonstrations, charity and school events and other venues.
Our work is funded by sponsorships (see the power point presentation shown below-right); donations, honorariums and memorials; cookbook, note card & cap sales in our General Store (go shopping), as well as membership dues.
Our youth are our future and the ACWA supports activities directly involving them. We encourage producers to offer youth
competition at their cook offs whenever possible. Many of our cooking crews include young people at the cook offs.
The Association also periodically honors an outstanding young cook with the Rookie of the Year award.
In 2012 that award went to Drake Tolbert.
In addition, the ACWA offers a scholarship (read more) to selected individuals each year. If interested, download an application here. Scholarship recipients for the upcoming school year are Clell Swanson, Canton, SD, and Ty Robertson, Granbury, TX.
Another way to involve and educate our youth is with demonstrations. At one cook off, invitations were given to area schools to come on Friday. There were busloads coming and going a good portion of the day. The students were wonderful and the three host wagons enjoyed sharing their camps and telling a little about the history of the chuck wagon and the trail drives.
Want to take home some of that authentic, Old West taste and style? Now you can with ACWA Cookbooks, beautiful note cards and caps!
Many of our members offer catering services. Check out the link above to contact one of them about bringing some of the finest chuck wagon cooking to your next event.
I was just reading the "chuck wagon cooking" on Facebook and saw that the site is approaching 10,000 "subscribers" to the page. Congratulations to Roger Edison and all who contribute to such a wonderful and resourceful page for the readers.
In May, the membership of the American Chuck Wagon Association decided to look into sanctioning chuck wagon cook-offs and sponsoring an annual Championship competition. The progress has been slow in that we embarked upon a large task and decided that a more focused attention would be beneficial. The plan is to center our efforts on solidifying the sanctioning portion before even discussing a championship cook-off. To that end, a chairman for a Sanctioning Committee has been appointed and he has put together a committee. The committee has discussed a number of topics pertaining to sanctioning. From those discussions a spin-off of that group is developing a judging sheet that will hopefully bring consistency to wagon judging and also simplify this very difficult task. With this committee off to a good start there is a need to include yet another committee to tackle standardizing food judging and the manner in which it is accomplished. That committee will be formulated soon. If you have some expertise that you feel will be beneficial, please contact myself or one of the board members and let us know of your interest. Progress reports will be posted as they come in.
A reminder of the goals for this organization, based on recommendations from the 2013 ACWA annual meeting last
1. Increase membership
2. Scholarships & charities
3. More informed judging (food and wagon)
4. Utilize non wagon owners
5. Young people involved
6. More funding
7. Used as educational platform
8. Help Wounded Warriors efforts(under other names as well)
9. Teach western wagon and trail drive era heritage
10. Uniform rules at all cook-offs
11. Increase awareness of ACWA
12. Support Make A Wish and like charities(Wagon Wheels for Meals On Wheels)
13. Support western museums
The pursuit of these goals will take time and will involve a goodly number of volunteers on various committees before the goals will come to fruition.
On a separate note, please take some time and look at the Awards Program and make your nominations to be considered for recognition at the annual meeting that will be held in Ft. Davis, Texas on November 1, 2014.
I keep seeing the results of the various competitions and certainly congratulations are in order. We all know that the cooking expertise level is getting higher and higher making for some really tremendous cooks. By competing in the various events a rookie or young cook new to the "circuit" can only get better by continued participation. We need to promote the youth competition whenever and where ever we can. They are the future of the ACWA.
If you haven't marked your calendar for September 13 for the chuck wagon gathering at the Three Hearts Ranch in Fredericksburg, Texas, please do so and come join in the fun.
Hope to see you on down the trail....Wayne Calk
In 1996 at a chuck wagon competition in Amarillo, Texas, a small
group of Old West enthusiasts and wagon masters talked about an
association. The mission would be to preserve the heritage of the chuck
wagon and its use in the short, but significant, era of the cattle
drives. In 1997, in Bryson, Texas, by-laws and articles of operation
were adopted and the American Chuck Wagon Association was off and
running. Today there are members in 31 states, Canada, Germany and
Members participate in Cook off competitions, demonstrations, catering, charity events, school visits and many other activities to fulfill that original mission and even surpass the dreams of those organizers. Thank you for visiting our site and we hope you will visit one or more of our chuck wagon events. Read More?
The ACWA Awards Program is designed to honor those outstandng individuals and teams who have contributed
to the betterment of the ACWA through their commitment, leadership, dedication, public outreach and service
in preserving the history of the chuck wagon era.
Big THANK YOU to hosts John and Sandy Sullivan along with Randy Hawkins, Russ Richins, Dave McDowell
and the SouthWest chapter of ACWA for an incredibly fun get together. Those of us who didn't make it missed a great time.
Thank you to Rex and Sheryl Wailes for all your hard work and a terrific time at the Rendezvous for the SW Region of the ACWA held in Bennett, CO. Next years event is already in the planning stages for Cortez, CO. Hope to see you there.